Mother’s Day At Home
Mother’s Day can be a little bit of a faff for families. It shouldn’t be, of course, and it needn’t be, but trying to find something fun and exciting – and, crucially, different – to do to celebrate the wonder that is ‘mum’ seems to get harder every year. If you were to ask your mum what she would truly like though, or if your children were to ask you, nine times out of ten the answer would likely be to stay at home and be a bit spoilt. You don’t need to spend a million dollars to make your mum feel a million dollars and one surefire way to impress is to whip up some spectacular meals throughout the day – spend some quality time together and eat well; your mum will thank you for it.
Breakfast In Bed
There are two crucial elements to this: firstly, make sure you’re staying at your mum’s the night before Mother’s Day and secondly, make sure you’re up and out of bed before she is. Once you’re up and about with the addition of any little helpers in the form of grandchildren, here’s a great breakfast-in-bed recipe to start the day with.
Honey Glazed Ham & Cheese Croissants
Quick and easy for the little ones (and the less cheffy big ones) to make, these filled croissants are great with a cup of fresh coffee.
4 slices of ham (the best quality you can get, naturally)
4 slices of cheese (what’s mum’s favourite?)
2tbsp Dijon mustard
1tbsp brown sugar
1tsp poppy seeds (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 190oC.
- Slice open the croissants lengthways and pop a slice of cheese inside. On top of that, put two slices of ham, and then another slice of cheese. Put to one side.
- In a small bowl, mix the honey, mustard and brown sugar together. Brush the mixture on the top of the croissants. If you are using poppy seeds, now is the time to sprinkle them over the top.
- Bake in the oven for 6-7 minutes until warm and gooey and serve immediately.
Traditionally, afternoon tea is all about finger sandwiches, scones with cream and jam and a variety of bite-sized cakes and tarts – as well as a pot of good quality tea. That’s all lovely, and if your mum loves that kind of food then go for it, but adding different, more personal ingredients to your afternoon tea is a nice touch. Why not serve up some of the tasty treats that you both love, or things that you baked together growing up? It’s more about the memories than the food sometimes and everyone loves a bit of nostalgia.
Include photographs with your afternoon tea is a really thoughtful way to show you care. Decorate your afternoon tea table with images of you and your mum, reminding her of the special times you’ve had together. As you sit and enjoy the delicious food you’ve laid out (making an effort here to whip up what you can yourself will always be appreciated) you can reminisce about each photo and – if there are grandchildren involved – they can play their own part too.
Five Star Dinner At Home
Going out for a slap-up meal at a restaurant is always an exciting plan, but in reality good restaurants often get booked up quickly on memorable dates and they can be pretty pricey too. So, why not recreate the anticipation and finesse of a three-course meal at home? Make sure you make an effort with your table setting, put your mum’s favourite music on and definitely don’t forget the champagne!
We’ve sourced some fantastic recipes from Gary Durrant, head chef at Hunter 486, the stylish restaurant within five-star boutique hotel The Arch London, which are sure to impress…
Starter: Chilled cucumber and avocado soup with brown shrimp and dill (4)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
Half clove garlic, finely chopped
2 cucumbers peeled, seeds removed and sliced
650ml vegetable stock
1 medium avocado
Half cucumber peeled, seeds removed and cut into small cubes
40g peeled brown shrimps
4 sprigs of dill
- Cook the chopped onions and garlic in a little vegetable oil until soft and translucent.
- Add the cucumber and cook for approximately 10 minutes until the cucumber is soft.
- Add the vegetable stock, bring to the boil, then simmer for 20 minutes.
- Place in a liquidiser and blend until smooth.
- Pass through a fine sieve into a bowl, and place this in a bowl of ice to chill the soup.
- When the soup is cold, peel and chop the avocado, add to the soup and blend again until smooth; season with salt and black pepper – it’s very important that the soup is cold before you add the avocado otherwise it will go brown and you’re looking for a bright green colour.
- To serve, pour into a chilled soup bowl and sprinkle over the peeled brown shrimps, the cubed cucumber and the chopped dill.
Main: Whole Sea Bass with Orange Butter, Fennel and Rocket Salad
2 whole Seabass descaled and gutted (approx 400g each)
2 garlic cloves
2 tsp fennel seeds
125g unsalted butter
2tsp good quality sea salt
70ml white wine
Zest and juice of 1 medium orange
- Season the inside of the fish and place crushed garlic, fennel and half a lemon inside.
- Take a piece of strong kitchen foil (roughly 35cm square) and brush well with oil and a little butter.
- Season one side of the fish with the sea salt and black pepper and place on the foil. Season the other side and sprinkle over the fennel seeds, white wine and a squeeze of lemon juice.
- Scrunch up the sides of the foil to form a well sealed parcel and cook in the oven at 220-240°C for 20 minutes.
- To make the orange butter, add the zest and orange juice to the soft butter, roll in cling film to form a cylinder and refrigerate until needed.
- When the fish is cooked, gently open the parcel and place the fish with all the juices onto plates. Top with a slice of the orange butter and sprinkle over some fennel leafs.
- Serve with a salad of shaved fennel and rocket.
Dessert: Chocolate And Amaretto Mousse
1tbsp plain flour
2tbsp caster sugar
1tsp vanilla essence
100g dark chocolate
30g Amaretti biscuits (crushed) and strawberries
- Pour the milk into a saucepan and warm over a low heat.
- In a separate pan, mix the flour, sugar and vanilla essence before slowly adding the warm milk. When all mixed together, put back on the heat and stir continuously for 2 minutes.
- As the mixture heats up, whisk in the Amaretto. By this time the mixture should be thickening.
- Take off the heat and stir in the butter and chocolate.
- Serve immediately with sprinkled Amaretti biscuits and strawberries on top.
Don’t forget the chocolates!
Mother’s Day Gift Box, £22.99, www.cocoaloco.co.uk
Containing scrumptious sloe gin truffles, naughty and nice salted caramel fudge, a swirly marbled bar, dark chocolate raspberry stars, a milk chocolate ‘M’ and chocolate lips to thank your mum on Mother’s Day.
Cocoa Loco are an organic and Fairtrade chocolate company operating in the heart of West Sussex – the Chocolate Barn production site is located in West Grinstead. When Sarah Payne, founder of Cocoa Loco, started baking she was passionate about being organic and working with nature and not against it and the entire company believe that delicious handmade chocolate can be 100% ethical too. Now, Cocoa Loco is the UK’s only 100% Fairtrade chocolate shop and has the largest range of Fairtrade chocolate in the UK. The chocolate is single origin and is lovingly handmade in small batches by skilled chocolatiers. What’s more, it’s delicious!